Renew Your Breasts, Restore Your Self
The thought of breast reconstruction surgery can be daunting after an illness like cancer. More office visits, procedures, and planning can seem overwhelming. At SJ Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach Autologous Breast Reconstruction gives patients a tailored, precise surgery that can bring back peace of mind and confidence. Our goal is not simply cosmetic surgery but to approach each patient with care and sensitivity to their highly individual needs and background.
The team of doctors, nurses, and staff at SJ Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach, VA want to help patients find renewal and restore confidence. Our surgeons have the skills and extensive experience it takes to perform the delicate intricacies of breast reconstruction with finesse and a warm understanding of the patient's sensitive and specific needs.
Autologous breast reconstruction, sometimes referred to as autogenous reconstruction or flap reconstruction, is a natural breast reconstruction technique that involves transferring tissue from another part of the body to form and sculpt a new breast mound. A skilled plastic surgeon uses skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, usually from the abdomen, buttocks, inner thigh, or back to recreate and rebuild a new breast.
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy can also be performed using silicone or saline implants. In many cases, breast reconstruction using implants requires two surgeries; one to insert expanders in the breast area to accommodate the implants, and then the eventual surgery to actually place the implants. A reconstruction using implants is beneficial if the patient doesn't have enough extra fat or tissue elsewhere in the body to transfer. This method also typically has a slightly shorter recovery time.
This tissue-based breast reconstruction option uses only your own natural tissue to reconstruct a new breast form. Autologous breast reconstruction is beneficial because this procedure creates a natural-looking and feeling new breast. Also, because it is made from your own skin, fat, and muscle, the reconstructed breasts will change with your body as you age, lose or gain weight, and there is no need for future implant revision surgery. Autologous reconstruction or “flap reconstruction” can be performed using numerous different methods. These include different flap locations and different transplant techniques, including the free flap, where all original blood vessels are moved to the new location via microsurgery.
There are several factors to consider when deciding on which breast reconstruction method is right for you. In making a decision, you will want to consider whether a second surgery in the future is something you're willing to do. Whether you are interested in a natural-looking breast or are interested in the size and shape augmentation options from an implant. You will also want to consider the possible risks involved with having a foreign implant.
Once you've recovered from illness, choosing to have breast reconstruction after cancer treatment can give you a new outlook on life and help you to feel like yourself again. With autologous breast reconstruction Virginia Beach patients will be able to enjoy:
This surgery is often performed after a mastectomy due to breast cancer or other illness or injuries affecting the breast. It is preferred by some women since it only uses your own tissue, and no implants are required. Most great candidates are:
Since there are so many components to breast reconstruction surgery, at a consultation, your surgeon will go into detail about your medical history, what options you are considering, and create a comprehensive plan for your procedure. Preparation will also be covered, including necessary lab work and medication evaluation.
Autologous Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia, sometimes along with a local anesthetic. The surgery usually takes 4-6 hours and requires a multi-day hospital stay, especially if the free flap method is used. This method means that all blood vessels are moved with the transplant and must be reattached via microsurgery. A hospital stay is needed to ensure that all blood flow is healthy and consistent.
Our board-certified plastic surgeon and nationally recognized microsurgeon, Dr. Eric M Jablonka offers natural tissue breast reconstruction to all women by transferring tissue from one part of the body to the chest to restore the look and feel of your own natural breasts. During the initial consultation, Dr. Jablonka will take the time to listen to you and understand your unique situation. He will discuss all of the breast reconstruction options available today and he will answer any questions you may have.
DIEP Flap: Stands for a deep inferior epigastric perforator, DIEP for short. Fat and excess skin taken from the lower abdomen are transplanted to reconstruct either one or both breasts. This has the benefit of obtaining a slimmer abdomen, like a Tummy Tuck, known as a "tummy-tuck transfer".
PAP & TUG Flap: A profunda artery perforator (PAP) flap and transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flap. This procedure uses excess tissue from the inside of your thighs. This option is best suited for those who do not have tissue available from the abdomen. This is also known as a "thigh-lift transfer".
TDAP Flap: A thoracodorsal artery (TDAP) flap uses available tissue from the chest wall underneath the arm that is very useful for partial breast reconstruction.
SGAP Flap: A superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap uses available tissue from the upper portion of the buttock. Extra skin and fat are removed and transplanted to reconstruct a breast while providing a lifted look to the buttock. This procedure is also known as a "buttock-lift transfer".
IGAP Flap: An inferior gluteal artery perforator (IGAP) flap uses available tissue from the lower buttock just above the buttock crease. This will provide skin and fat that is removed and transplanted to reconstruct a breast while reshaping and reducing the size of the buttock.
LAP Flap: A lumbar artery perforator (LAP) flap uses available tissue from the lower back and hip area or "love handles". This procedure is also known as a "love-handle transfer".
The recovery time frame and guidelines for breast reconstruction surgery vary depending on what type of flap is used, where the transplanted tissue is taken from, and the health and age of the patient. Specific instructions will be provided for care and recuperation with hospital discharge. Results are usually fully realized around 12-18 months.
Our surgeons at SJ Plastic Surgery are skilled in microsurgical techniques, have vast experience with free flaps, and have the ability to harvest tissue from multiple sources. Autologous breast reconstruction is a precise and demanding procedure, so you want to choose a surgical team that is adept at each phase.
The first step on the path to renewal is one call or chat away!
Since breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Immediately after surgery, there will be some fatigue and soreness for 1-2 weeks.
This surgery is considered a safe option and does not involve the possible complications of an implant. Risks are similar to those of many surgeries, including infection and anesthesia issues.
Yes, autologous breast reconstruction surgery is permanent because your own tissue is used instead of a silicone implant that would need to be replaced after 10+ years.
Because autologous breast reconstruction surgery involves the transfer of tissue and connection of blood vessels, patients will be required to stay in the hospital for 2-3 nights. This is to ensure that blood flow is sufficient to the newly placed tissue and to monitor for any complications.
Breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy is covered under health insurance by law. You should discuss copayments and deductibles with your carrier. Without insurance, it could be upwards of $25,000 - $50,000.
SJ Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach & Chesapeake
At SJ Plastic Surgery, we believe in treating each patient as though they are family. Our years of training and experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery are at your service. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about Virginia Beach Plastic Surgery at SJ Plastic Surgery Clinic.